Date: October 28, 2022
Location: Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, Connecticut
Commentators: Jim Ross, Excalibur, Tony Schiavone
We’re back with another live Rampage this week and this time we have the World Champion in action as Jon Moxley is facing Matt Menard. That would likely be the big match of the show and after that, there is a good chance the star power goes a bit downhill in a hurry. I’m not sure what that is going to entail but we should be in for a fun show. Let’s get to it.
Jon Moxley vs. Matt Menard
Non-title and Angelo Parker is here with Menard. Hang on though as Moxley asks Menard for a minute before going after a distracting Parker. With that not working, Moxley sends him outside and there’s a ram into the barricade. There’s the back rake to Menard and Moxley bites away back inside. We hear that Mike Tyson will be on commentary next week (oh dear) as Menard has to block a Figure Four attempt. Parker gets in a shot that we don’t see (thank goodness for replays) and we take a break.
Back with Menard choking on the ropes but Moxley grabs a quick cutter to get himself out of trouble. Moxley tells Menard to hit him before hitting the King Kong lariat for the knockdown. The ankle lock goes on but Menard actually manages to kick his way to freedom. Parker tries to interfere and gets cuttered as well but Menard gets in a cheap shot off of the distraction. Menard gets in his own kicks but gets pulled into the choke to give Moxley the tap at 8:06.
Rating: C+. This was exactly what it should have been. There was zero reason to believe that Moxley was in any serious danger and other than Parker interference, Menard didn’t get in control very often. This was a glorified workout for Moxley but it was fun, which is the direction a match like this should have gone.
Post match Stokely Hathaway and Lee Moriarty come out. Stokely throws out the challenge to Moxley for next week on Dynamite and for some enticement, we see a video on Moriarty beating on Wheeler Yuta and explaining Taigastyle. Moxley says the Blackpool Combat Club likes Moriarty but that was a big mistake. The match is on.
We’re getting another #1 contenders tournament with the finals coming at Full Gear for a Winter Is Coming title shot. The first entrant: Dante Martin. Their last tournament was last month.
Jade Cargill is training and promises to get the TBS Title back.
Keith Lee vs. Serpentico
Serpentico chops away and the Spirit Bomb finishes him off at 17 seconds.
Post match Tony Schiavone gets in the ring to talk to Lee about the Full Gear Tag Team Title match. Before Lee can say anything, the Acclaimed interrupt, sans rap. They haven’t seen Swerve Strickland or Billy Gunn and want to know where he is. Swerve pops up on screen to reveal that he has kidnapped Gunn and has him tied to a chair. Gunn tells Swerve to blame himself but Swerve says Gunn won’t be at the title match. Swerve whips out some pliers and seems to break Gunn’s finger before cutting the video. The Acclaimed runs off….and I have no idea to where. Lee seems to think that was too far.
We see the Jericho Appreciation Society challenging any former Ring Of Honor Champion. Thankfully they have the audio fixed this time.
Tay Melo vs. Madison Rayne
Sammy Guevara is here with Melo. Feeling out process to start and Melo flips her over into a sunset flip, which is reversed into a cradle for two. Back up and they yell at each other until Melo hits a backbreaker on the ropes and we take a break. We come back with Madison managing a DDT and a neckbreaker gets two. Rayne catches her on top with a super cutter for a rather delayed near fall. Melo is back with a spinebuster for two and the SHOCKED face is great. A quick TayKO finishes Rayne at 9:22.
Rating: C. Rayne continues to be just kind of there and nothing more as she keeps losing one after another. The good thing is that she came in with low expectations but she is still enough of a name and can hang in a match well enough. Melo gets another win here and should be moving up the ladder, at least a little bit.
Ethan Page yells at the idea of MJF being anything without him. Plans have changed and now MJF is going into Full Gear at less than 100%. In addition, he is going to Full Gear himself because he is in the #1 contenders tournament.
Wardlow and Matt Taven are ready to fight. Taven is ready to make the TNT Title into the Taven Network Television Title. Wardlow would rather just powerbomb him a lot.
Here’s what’s coming on various shows.
TNT Title: Matt Taven vs. Wardlow
Taven, with the rest of the Kingdom, is challenging. Taven chops away to no effect but a dropkick puts Wardlow on one knee. Unfortunately that lasts half a second and I’M MATT TAVEN takes a bit longer, allowing Wardlow to send him flying. A big toss over the top sends Taven outside and that means a posting to make it worse.
Mike Bennett gets in a cheap shot, allowing Taven to hit the Flight of the Conqueror. Wardlow gets rammed into the steps and we take a break. Back with Taven missing a top rope…I guess stomp, allowing Wardlow to hit the F10. There’s a spinebuster to plant Taven so Wardlow offers a distraction, which does nothing to stop a Four Movement Powerbomb Symphony to retain the title at 9:01.
Rating: B-. This is exactly how AEW should be using Wardlow. Taven isn’t a major star, but he has enough of a resume that beating him means something. Wardlow needs to move up in competition but he needs to be doing it the formula that got him to this point. The match was good enough, but what matters is that it was the Wardlow style that worked so well for him in the first place.
Post match Bennett comes in to jump Wardlow but Samoa Joe makes the save. Cue Powerhouse Hobbs to stare at Joe and Wardlow, with the Embassy running in from behind to beat the two of them down. The big beatdown ends the show, with Hobbs holding up the TNT Title while Brian Cage grabs the ROH TV Title.
Overall Rating: C+. This was a very Rampage style episode of Rampage: there was some good enough content but it felt like the majority was spent setting up something for later or just wasn’t that important. Having Mike Tyson on the show next week should be entertaining, but it isn’t going to make the show feel like it matters any more than that. It’s strange as Dynamite makes the lowest stuff feel important, but for some reason Rampage is the complete opposite. Maybe find a bit of a better balance? Or just put more into Rampage.
Jon Moxley b. Matt Menard – Rear naked choke
Keith Lee b. Serpentico – Spirit Bomb
Tay Melo b. Madison Rayne – TayKO
Wardlow b. Matt Taven – Powerbomb Symphony
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